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  Home > Seasons > Season 2012
Last one for Loeb
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2012 season saw biggest driver line-up change in recent years. It was triggered by Ogier's move to Volkswagen to develop the upcoming Polo WRC, which left second seat at Citroen vacant. Hirvonen left Ford to fill that seat, which in turn promoted Latvala to team leader and Petter Solberg was recruited to support him. At second Ford team whole driver lineup was shook up as young drivers Ott Tanak and Evgeny Novikov were scooped up.

Unfortunately for the series, Mini withdrew their official support from the team early in the season, leaving team to cope best they could. At the end of the season, also Ford announced that they wouldn't continue official involvement in the series beyond 2012 season, leaving M-Sport to seek alternative ways to continue.

Besides Ford, another Great in rallying announced his retirement at the end of the season - Sebastien Loeb. His season was near perfect with nine wins with which he clinched ninth championship title. Season's surprise was Mads Ostberg, who won in Portugal after Loeb went off and Hirvonen was disqualified. He performed very well throughout the season and was the only driver that scored in every round, losing third place in the series only after final round to Latvala.

Changes
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For determining start order in gravel rallies, qualifying was introduced. It's run on shakedown stage right after shakedown runs and driver with best time selects his starting position first, then second fastest and so on. After initial doubts, it seems that this practice works well and provides additional media event as well.

Event rotation saw Monte Carlo and New Zealand back in with Jordan and Australia phased out.

New cars
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No new cars debuted during the season.

2012 Champions
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2012 FIA World Rally Champions, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  M. Ostberg (Portugal)
first drivers' point
  E. Brynildsen (Sweden)
  R. Trivino Bujalil (Mexico)
  P. van Merksteijn jr (Portugal)
  T. Neuville (Portugal)
  Y. al-Rajhi (Acropolis)
  A. al-Kuwari (Acropolis)
  M. Arzeno (Deutschland)
  S. Chardonnet (Alsace)
  L. Pedersoli (Sardinia)
  J. Nikara (Catalunya)
  C. Breen (Catalunya)
first stage win
  O. Tanak (Sweden)
  N. al-Attiyah (Mexico)
  T. Neuville (Mexico)
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